Behind my house is another house. And beyond that house is a little nature area with a pond. I call it Dog Poop Park. The only reason it isn't slathered with townhomes is that it's too wet to build on. This is good news for the snapping turtles that use my yard as their nesting sites.
I've no objections to an occasional snapper visit. And -- have you noticed? -- there's no such thing as an ugly baby animal. The itty bitty snappers rushing across the short weeds ... err ... lawn, are so cute!
We have a new denizen in Dog Poop Park. Someone dumped an alligator into the pond. Actually it's probably a caiman, but whatever it is, it's not snapper-sized. It's a whopper.
The park is cordoned off with yellow police tape. Every other tree has a sign on it that says, "Stay Out of Park."
I figured there would be gators in the waterways around here at some point, given the direction the climate is heading. I think this guy is just an early land speculator.
In the wee small hours of the morning, my daughter The Heir heard a high-decibel fracas at the pond. It consisted of frantic goose honking, cut off quickly. Christmas must have come early for Caiman Cratchit.
There are more than enough resident Canadian geese around here to sustain the hungriest caiman through the summer. My concern is that Cratchit might get a little sick of Canadian goose and go cruising for a change of pace. Like a pussy cat.
I've got two rescue cats, Alpha and Beta. Both of them were outdoor cats when they accepted my hospitality. Beta, in fact, was dumped along the pond as a kitten.
Normally, Alpha and Beta don't stray far from my little back yard. (That's a plus of owning rescue cats -- they know when they've got it good.) But, if a snapping turtle can crawl to Chateau Johnson from the pond, it's certainly not beyond the crawling capacity of a rapacious caiman.
The park police are clueless as to how to catch the thing. That doesn't surprise me, because they're also clueless as to how to catch the teenagers who smoke weed, drink beer, and procreate by the pond. The park police even called the animal shelter where I volunteer, hoping the dog expert there would help them. The dog expert, who regularly has to collar savage pit bull mixes, politely declined to help. Not his area of expertise.
It's not mine either. Anyone out there know what to do about a pesky alligator infestation?
THE MERLIN OF GATOR-FREE BERKELEY SPRINGS